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Sweet Smoke - low and slow BBQ in Oakville?

a
andyman Jul 31, 2007 02:17 PM

Has anyone heard anything about Sweet Smoke in Oakville? I heard about it through a friend who lives in the area (on the Oakville/Burlington border). I just checked out their website (www.sweetsmoke.ca) and, in sprit, it captures the essence of what the BBQ folks are looking for...low and slow - smoked in-house.

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  1. damonster RE: andyman Jul 31, 2007 02:47 PM

    Menu looks good, looking forward to some reviews

    1. b
      burlgurl RE: andyman Jul 31, 2007 07:59 PM

      Have been a few times and always really enjoyed everything...something different in the area!
      bbq was delicious..tried the shrimp quesedillas which were also really good..
      portobello sandwich and crab cake sandwich were awesome and my favorite tortilla soup I've had..

      1 Reply
      1. re: burlgurl
        HarryLloyd RE: burlgurl Aug 1, 2007 06:49 AM

        And the barbeque?

        real smoke? what kind of wood? how was the flavour? moistness?


        Chow!
        HL.

      2. duckdown RE: andyman Aug 1, 2007 04:05 PM

        is there take-out?

        3 Replies
        1. re: duckdown
          b
          burlgurl RE: duckdown Aug 1, 2007 07:44 PM

          When I went my friend had the bbq pulled pork and said he prefered it to Phil's...(I don't eat pork, but the other dishes I had were really good quality..not sure if it translates to the bbq...)
          There is take out too..

          1. re: burlgurl
            c
            callitasicit RE: burlgurl Aug 5, 2007 05:20 AM

            I went to Sweetsmoke yesterday for dinner and I was relatively impressed with the food. We started with the tortilla soup which I have to say was really delicious. We then had the barbecue sampler which consisted of ribs, marinated turkey pieces in bbq sauce, pulled pork, coleslaw and bbq beans. I really enjoyed the pulled pork, it was really tender and not short on flavour. The ribs weren't the best I ever had but they were still tasty. The turkey pieces were rather tender and pretty good. I also enjoyed the coleslaw which had some kick to it, the beans were okay. Moving on to dessert, we both ordered the Cake and Shake. This was an interesting take on dessert which compiled a rich chocolate cake with dark chocolate pudding and a mini vanilla bean milkshake on the side. I enjoyed this dessert, my only complaint was that the shake was really tiny and could be finished in two good sips. Overall, a really fine experience. I would definitely recommend this place for good bbq! Next time I will try the Cubano sandwich and I am already looking forward to it.

            1. re: callitasicit
              b
              burlgurl RE: callitasicit Aug 5, 2007 06:52 AM

              I wish they had some chicken in their menu (besides a quesedilla)!!??

        2. duckdown RE: andyman Aug 5, 2007 02:19 PM

          I stopped in for some take-out last night, grabbed a Pulled Pork sandwich and some of their "Mac & cheese"

          The pulled pork was pretty great but the Mac & Cheese seemed like just boiled Kraft Dinner elbows mixed up with some cheese.. Wasn't very big on flavor & rather bland, both in taste & appearance

          Will try again though

          3 Replies
          1. re: duckdown
            HarryLloyd RE: duckdown Aug 7, 2007 06:35 AM

            DD,

            can you please describe the pulled pork in as much detail as the mac & cheese?


            Chow!
            HL.

            1. re: HarryLloyd
              duckdown RE: HarryLloyd Aug 7, 2007 12:22 PM

              I'll do my best :)

              I was in a rush that night, after getting the takeout because I was already running late for a night out with the boys... The Mac & Cheese was pretty disgraceful but the Pulled pork was pretty good. The girl will ask you if you want it with "sloppy top" and apparently thats their word for putting coleslaw on top.. So I said sure, I'll try it.

              What I seem to remember the most about it is that I would NOT get the cole slaw on top next time. I wish I had've gotten a small order on the side so I could confirm thats what the sweet flavor was, but either way I found it to be a little too sweet on the sandwich. The pork was shredded finely (Some people do not like this) but thats exactly how I like it... It seems to have the sauce mixed in with it already and did not see any "sauce bottles" or anything in the entire place, and I was looking at pretty much EVERYTHING in there while I was waiting for my food.. So its not an overly saucy sandwich or anything like that, which I usually actually prefer. Either way it tasted good and I'm sure I'll enjoy it more without the coleslaw on it next time.

              On a side note, though, just want to say that the chef there looks like a pretty angry guy and is none too pleasant. A family that was dining there had picky children, that didn't want the Gruyere or Asiago cheese in their macaroni (Which is understandable.. ) and apparently the guy just sent them his regular mac & cheese anyways claiming that it was "already mixed up", even though the family requested otherwise.. The family made a fuss and the cook came out personally looking very displeased and was forced to take it back.. Not as if his epic creation was ruined since the mac & cheese was pretty lackluster anyway... Wonder what happened

              Oh apparently I'm ranting, let me know what ya think if you stop in

              cheers

              1. re: duckdown
                Wiley RE: duckdown Aug 8, 2007 08:04 PM

                Lunched there today on Tortilla Soup, a small and I wish I'd ordered large...amazingly tasty! The pulled pork on a bun was delicious, too, and a bonus was the filling remained piping hot right to the last bite. How often can you say that about a sammy? Also, the desserts being served to nearby tables looked really appealing. Not just diner food, it's given that little bit of presentation, too.

          2. s
            Snarf RE: andyman Sep 12, 2007 09:57 AM

            Review of this place in the Star today. Very positive generally, though they seemed grouchy about the sauce. Apparently the chef/owner is actually onsite, and has a high end background (Langdon Hall).

            4 Replies
            1. re: Snarf
              duckdown RE: Snarf Sep 12, 2007 12:43 PM

              What did they say about it? Can you tell us any more... Wondering if I would agree with what he said

              1. re: duckdown
                pescatarian RE: duckdown Sep 12, 2007 12:59 PM

                Here's the review from The Star: http://www.thestar.com/living/article...

                1. re: pescatarian
                  d
                  doctorandchef RE: pescatarian Jan 6, 2008 12:39 PM

                  I finally had some time to pay a pilgrimage to this bbq joint.

                  A little difficult to find as the address in Toronto.com is wrong. (check the sweetsmoke.ca site for the right one). It's in the corner of a non-descript strip mall on Rebecca street and I would have driven right by it if my s.o. didn't stop me in time.

                  Encouraging smell of the namesake sweet smoke wafts through the stylishly decorated (albeit minimalist) dining room screams authenticity of a slow-cooked barbecue. It was late saturday night but the room had only 2 other diners who just finished. Pity.

                  We only had the appetite for 3 dishes.

                  1) Tortilla soup: great flavor, CRISP tortilla garnish, garnished with stringy cheese, reminded me of the gold standard tortilla soup by Dean Fearing at The Mansion on Turtle Creek I had about 2 years ago.... no wonder! I find out in the Toronto Star article that the chef worked there in his past! Very nicely done soup, he has cut no corners and used all the right ingredients including the mexican cheese.

                  2) Pulled pork sandwich: finely shredded tender, smoky bits of meat on a toasted bun. I agree with a previous poster that this one is better than Phil's, more meat and more smoky taste. That's only IMHO.

                  3) BBQ Ribs: this is what I came for, and I was not disappointed. Very very tender with the appropriate fat content (i.e. not too much, not too little). Telltale smoke-ring authenticates their slow-cooked process, meat was falling off the bone tender. Will have to agree with Pataki's comment re: very fruity/sweet bbq sauce, may be too sweet for some but I think it complements the deep smoky flavors of the bbq and the tasty spice rub. We also ordered some burnt ends (only on the blackboard, not on the menu) and were treated to 4 GIGANTIC pieces of fatty burnt bits which were undoubtedly delicious but a bit too rich for both of us. They gave us extra because it was at the end of the night. However I couldn't resist nibbling on them towards the end of the meal. Fat is where the flavor's at!!

                  Sides include coleslaw: a little too creamy for my taste, but properly acidic and not waterlogged. Beans were slightly al dente (which is fine with me!) with a complex mix of flavors. I finished the whole lot and would go back just for the beans.

                  One could see the chef's fine-dining influences with artful saucing on the plates and careful attention to small details during cooking. Too bad I didn't try the desserts, didn't know the pastry chef was of such high caliber. Oh well, next visit.

                  All in all, this is worthy of a detour from the highway if you are in the area. The chef's fine dining pedigree is obvious and I think this place deserves to be packed every night if more people knew about this. If you're a big Phil's fan, come try it for a comparison.... would like to hear what others think. Next time I'm saving room for dessert.

                  1. re: doctorandchef
                    deelicious RE: doctorandchef Jan 6, 2008 12:47 PM

                    I thought the food was of high quality too. We ordered the mixed plate of items and felt the portion was much too small for dinner, and for the price. Because the small taste of ribs seemed to be very good, we ordered a rack to go.

                    Glad we did. They were great the next day - not dried out at all. Had we planned on eating the take out the same night we would have been disappointed as the slaw is packed with the meat and thus fully heated. Can't imagine why they don't get requests to change that and pack them separately??

                    Great spot for a rack of ribs!

            2. d
              detritus RE: andyman Jan 6, 2008 01:31 PM

              What are the prices like here? The online menu doesn't list any...

              1 Reply
              1. re: detritus
                deelicious RE: detritus Jan 6, 2008 01:44 PM

                This will give you an idea. http://www.toronto.com/restaurants/ar...

                The sampler for 18 bucks was A LOT of money IMO - small portions.

              2. cynalan RE: andyman Apr 8, 2008 04:47 PM

                Living in Burlington and enjoying good BBQ, we recently heard of this place... here on Chowhound actually. I really wanted the pulled pork sandwich but apparently there was a big takeout order earlier in the day and they were out. Hmmm, a BBQ restaurant without pulled pork... disappointing but it happens I guess.

                My wife ordered the Grilled Shrimp Quesadilla. This was an excellent decision. The quesadilla was filled with cheese (probably gruyere with asiago, I think). The shrimp were large and crunchy. Quite frankly, one of the best quesadillas that we've sampled and it happens to be my wife's favourite dish.

                I had big expectations for the ribs given some of the reviews on this sight. They had potential but I was disappointed. $24 purchased nine ribs. They were large and meaty, no particularly fatty. The sauce was rather interesting. True to the name of the restaurant, rather smoky with a slight fruity overtone. However, they were overdone and in fact burnt in a couple of places. This may sound sacreligious but I really prefer the ribs at Turtle Jacks.

                My pet peeve is the size vs. cost of soft drinks. You get a small 8 oz tumbler of a soft drink for about $2. Refills are full charge. Very disappointing.

                Perhaps I will come back to try the pulled pork sandwich one day as takeout.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cynalan
                  duckdown RE: cynalan Apr 8, 2008 10:12 PM

                  Yeah, I don't really get anything but take-out there... And I agree about the portion sizes; very small, although everything I've had here has been good.

                  No refills on drinks, and the price of a small pecan tart is $5.50 for something incredibly small, so no desert appeal..

                  I generally always get take out here now

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